Panama coronavirus update – latest figures saw 88 new cases (the number down on the previous day), giving a total of 989 confirmed cases to date, with 24 fatalities. There has been some unrest in a couple of the poorer areas, with a couple of small local shops looted and street protests – despite the government guaranteeing wages and providing food vouchers, free food supplies and other things for the poor and those who don;t have a regular job or wage.
In other developments, Panama has facilitated the stranded Zandaam cruise liner off-loading some passengers to a fellow liner and both passing through the Canal en route to California (though who will know what will happen there).
29 March 2020
HOW THE SEC ENFORCEMENT DIVISION RESPONDS TO A CRISIS
On 28 March, a post on the Compliance & Enforcement blog of the New York University School of Law sets out to explain how the SEC is coping and on what its Enforcement Division will be concentrating during the crisis. It is said, as one might expect, that it will be focusing on things and people seeking to take advantage of the crisis to carry out scams and frauds etc. However, it is said that the majority of SEC staff have begun teleworking, and the agency has “transitioned to a full telework posture with limited exceptions”. The post lists the types of investigations it expects the Enforcement Division to undertake.
QATARA: NASSER AL KHELAIFI, HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL PAY-TELEVISION GIANT BEIN MEDIA GROUP, RECEIVES BOOST OVER CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION IN SWITZERLAND
On 29 March, The Peninsula in Qatar reported that the Swiss federal court has rejected a prosecution case against the Qatari executive, who is also the president of French soccer giants Paris Saint-Germain. He was cleared of bribery in a probe that also involves a disgraced former secretary general of FIFA, and a third unnamed accused, and relates to payments alleged to have been made for media rights for major tournaments. However, a secondary charge of inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement was maintained.
EU COURT OF JUSTICE RULES THAT CONFISCATION LAWS ARE LAWFUL
On 29 March, the Irish Independent reported that the ECJ has held that proceeds of crime legislation, used to confiscate illegally obtained assets, is lawful. In Ireland, the measure was brought in after the brutal murder of Sunday Independent investigative journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996. The matter was referred to the Court by Bulgaria, which asked if EU law precluded Member States from providing for civil proceedings for confiscation, which were unrelated to a finding of a criminal offence, and arose from a case in which a Bulgarian banker is the subject of criminal proceedings for allegedly having incited others, between December 2011 and June 2014, to misappropriate funds belonging to the bank.
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